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Seeking knowledge from other than the Scholars   Leave a comment


 

Seeking knowledge from other than the Scholars

By Shaykh Saalih ibn Fowzaan al-Fowzaan

The confining of some youth to themselves and their (establishing) lessons in some of the homes and memorising amongst themselves and reading to themselves – in (all of) this there is great danger; This does not benefit them at all, rather, they may become deluded (into thinking they are actually benefitting) by it.

It is imperative they go to the scholars and sit with them in whatever place. As for sitting in the homes and groups of ignorant youth reading and explaining and expounding for themselves, then therein is great danger.And their remaining upon ignorance is better (for them) than following this path. (This is) because (the condition of) al-jaahil al-baseet (one who is ignorant and knows he is ignorant) is simpler than (that of) al-jaahil al-murakkab (one who is ignorant but does not recognise himself as such). (So) al-jaahil al-baseet knows he is ignorant, however, al-jaahil al-murakkab thinks he is knowledgeable whilst (in reality) he is ignorant.

Reference: al-Ijaabaat al-Mulimmah fil-Mashaakil al-Mulimmah – Volume 2, Pages 81-82

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Posted November 12, 2010 by thesunnahway in Acquire Knowledge

Arabic Language A Priority   Leave a comment


And Imâm Al-Shâfi’î said:
People didn’t become ignorant and didn’t differ amongst themselves except because they left Arabic and leaned towards the language of Aristotle.
Quoted by Al-Suyûtî in Sawn Al-Mantiq p15. He said on p22:
I have found Salaf before Al- Shâfi’î indicate what he did: that the cause of heresy (al-ibtidâ’) is ignorance of Arabic language.
 
One of the reported instructions ‘Umar wrote to Abû Mûsâ Al-Ash’arî and those under his governance during the former’s Caliphate was, “Seek knowledge and understanding of (fiqh) the Sunnah and seek knowledge and understanding of Arabic.”
Ibn Abî Shaybah, Al-Musannaf Vol.6 p126.
It is reported that he said, “Learn Arabic, for it strengthens the intelligence and increases one’s noble conduct (al-murû`ah).”
Al-Bayhaqî, Shu’ab Al-Îmân Vol.4 p187.
It is also reported that he said, “Do not learn the language of the non-Arabs, and do not enter upon them in their churches on their festivals, for indeed wrath descends upon them.”
‘Abd Al-Razzâq Al-San’ânî, Al-Musannaf Vol.1 p411
 
Arabic Language

“The Key to Understand – “Holy Qur’an”

We all feel touched when we open up a good translation of the meaning of the Qur’an and we ponder and wonder at the beauty of the words and the deep meanings within. But in reality we are just seeing a glimpse of the real treasure that the Qur’an is.

Imagine how you’d feel if you could understand the words of Allah in the form in which they were sent down and not just rely on a translation of the meaning in English. Imagine the power of the words and the directness of the message then! The potency would be awesome!

The Qur’an is the word of Allah; a direct message from Allah to us His creation and Allah chose the Arabic language as the language of this message. Indeed Allah tells us this in the Qur’an emphasising to us that to understand the message in its fuller form one must understand the language:

“Indeed we have sent it down as an Arabic Qur’an, in order that you may understand” (Surah Yusuf, Aayah 2)

Arabic and the message of the Qur’an cannot be separated and translators throughout the ages have tried to convey to the non-Arabic speaking people the beauty of the meaning of the Qur’an but have always called it ‘The translation of the meaning of the Qur’an’, emphasising the fact that the Qur’an’s direct translation is not possible, because so much of the potency and splendour of the words and their meanings which are inextricably linked to the Arabic language are lost in English or any other language. Indeed to even appreciate the poetic beauty of the Qur’an one needs to have an understanding of Arabic.

“And thus we have inspired to you an Arabic Qur’an so that you may warn the mother of towns and all around it” (Surah ash-Shura, 7)

Remember that for the Arabs in the time of the Prophet (SAW) who were masters of eloquence and poetry, the words of the Qur’an itself were so unique compared to the poetry of the most eloquent of them that many came to Islam recognising that the Qur’an could not be the handiwork of even the best human poet, rather it could only come from Allah. The language itself was one of the miracles of the Qur’an. Allah challenges mankind:

“And if you are in doubt about what we have sent down to our servant, then produce a chapter like it and call your witnesses besides Allah if you are truthful. But if you do not do it, and you can never do it, then fear the Fire whose fuel is men and stones, prepared for the disbelievers” (Surah Baqarah, aayaat 23-24)

The Preservation of the Arabic Language:

Languages usually evolve. Just look at the difference between Shakespearean English and modern day English. In many ways they seem like two totally different languages and a man from England in Shakespearean times and a man from modern day England would find it extremely difficult to communicate! But the Arabic language is not just ‘a language’. This is why the Sahabah and the early generations of Muslims strove to preserve the classical Arabic language. It was Ali (radi allaahu ‘anhu) who noticed on the tongues of some of the Arabs a slight change in dialect and ordered for the grammar rules of Arabic to be recorded in a universal form. He knew that the preservation of the Arabic language was part of the preservation of Islam itself.

Arabic unified the Muslim countries as it spread to every land that embraced Islam. This is why it is seen that those Muslim societies that are ignorant of Arabic are in general less knowledgeable about Islam. This ignorance has in turn made them more prone to stray from the straight path.

The enemies of Islam know this and have worked hard to tear the Muslims from the Arabic language and the Qur’an. During the French occupation of Algeria, the French government was advised, “We will never be able to overpower the Algerians as long as they read the Qur’an and speak Arabic. Therefore we must remove the Arabic Qur’an from their midst and abolish the Arabic language from their tongues.”

And unfortunately this is exactly what the secular leader of Turkey, Kamal Ataturk, who abolished the Islamic caliphate, did. He ordered that the Qur’an be recited in Turkish, even in prayers and changed the Turkish language which used to be written in Arabic into a Latin alphabet.

Today you will find that although Arabs throughout the world unfortunately have different colloquial dialects, they are still taught the Classical Arabic in their schools and Classical Arabic is the standard written Arabic in every Arabic newspaper and book. So it has been preserved by Allah as He(SWT) promised in the Qur’an:

“Indeed we have sent down the Reminder and surely we will preserve it.” (Surah Hijr, Aayah 9)

A Priority for all of us:

Scholars throughout the ages, from the Companions to the present day, encouraged the Ummah to learn the Arabic language.

Ubay ibn Ka’b (RA) said,
“Teach Arabic like you teach the memorisation of the Qur’an!”

Abu Bakr (RA) said,
“That I recite and forget (a portion of the Qur’an) is more beloved to me than to make a grammatical mistake!”

And ‘Umar (RA) once passed by a group of archers who missed their targets. He admonished them and they responded that they were only beginners, but in answering back they made a grammatical mistake in their wording. He told them, “Indeed, your mistakes in Arabic grammar are more difficult to bear than your mistakes in archery!”

Imam ash-Shaafi’ee said, “Therefore it is imperative that every Muslim should strive to learn Arabic as hard as he can, so that he can testify the shahada, and recite the Book of Allah and say the invocations that are mandatory upon him, such as the takbeer, tasbeeh, tashahud and other prayers. And the more he learns the language that Allah Himself chose to be the language of him who sealed the Prophets (SAW), and to be the language of His final revelation, the better it is for him!”

Imam ash-Shaafi’ee also said : “It is compulsory for every responsible Muslim to learn what they can of the Arabic language.”

The great 8th century scholar Shaykul Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (rh) even went so far as to say that, “The Arabic language is part of the Religion, and knowing it is an obligation.”

Unfortunately, we have become comfortable with simply relying on translations and spending all of our time and efforts in studying other things, (other languages even!) which may not even benefit us in the hereafter and have forgotten that the Qur’an is in a very approachable language and we all have the ability or rather the responsibility to study and understand it. If you knew that Allah (SWT) had a message for you, personally, then would you not want to understand it in its original form? Think about it…we have the last revelation to mankind, the only communication from our Lord and Master, which is preserved in its original form, and yet in a 70 odd year life we do not give it the attention, which it deserves. We should realise that Allah has honoured us with the Qur’an and chosen for us the noblest of languages. Attention to Arabic is attention to the Book of Allah so we should make learning it a priority.

I remember the feeling of tasting the sweetness of Allah’s words in my Salaah when I first embarked upon my Arabic studies. I just repeated the same aayah of the Qur’an again and again savouring the words and suddenly feeling a deep emotion that I’d never felt before though I had read the same aayah many times before studying Arabic, it was as though a light had been lit for me and I’d suddenly discovered a new part of a house that I’d been living in for years. One of the definite benefits of learning Arabic is that it aids Khushoo’ or consciousness in salaah and helps us to improve all of our worships. Taraweeh prayer in Ramadan becomes a new experience!

Practical steps towards learning Arabic:

Alhamdulillah with all the teaching aids and easy access to information that we have, learning Arabic does not necessarily mean travelling on arduous journeys to distant lands as it once used to. With discipline and commitment, the student can study much in his own time

Here are some tips to help you along they way:

Make Du’a:

As with everything we work towards, we should ask Allah to help us and make learning easy for us. We should ask Allah to purify our intentions so that we truly learn Arabic for the better understanding of the Qur’an and deen.

Discipline yourself!

Put a set amount of time aside every day or twice a week for your Arabic studies and stick to it. Remember a little study regularly is better than hours of study once a month.

Know your basics well:

going step by step is the best way to master any language, concentrating on improving your basic reading and writing is the first step in learning Arabic, even if it is repetitive. Then you can build on that firm foundation.

Invest in a good dictionary and Arabic books:

A good dictionary is the Hans Wehr or Al-Mawrid dictionary, available in most Muslim bookshops and on the Internet too! Arabic words are usually arranged under their three letter roots. Get used to looking up words often and compile your own personal vocabulary dictionary. Some good three-book sets you can start working through are the three Madinah university books or the Kitaab-ul Asaasi books.

Enrol into a summer course:

There are a few around every summer and they are a great way to kick-start your learning. They can be quite intensive so remember to revise and keep up your study afterwards.

Study Arabic as part of your full-time degree:

If you are going to study a degree, why not study a degree in Arabic or one with Arabic as part of it?

Study under an Arab friend or tutor:

The importance of a good teacher cannot be stressed enough. Although there is a lot of self-study involved, a friend who knows Arabic or an Arab brother or sister who you could go to regularly for guidance would be very valuable. You could even start going through your Arabic books with them.

Organise a class locally:

There must be like-minded Muslims in your area who would like to study Arabic too. Maybe you could get together and pay for a teacher to teach you Arabic together at the local Masjid or in one of your homes. Studying with friends is a good way to stay motivated.

Study abroad in an Arab country:

there are various good courses running in countries such as Egypt which really speed up your learning and can provide you with a nice experience. People have found that a few months in an Arab country can be more beneficial than a year or more of studying at home. Make sure you keep up your studying when you get back though!

Expose yourself to as much Arabic as you can:

You can listen to Arabic lecture tapes, visit Muslim countries, read some Arabic everyday, and maybe get an Arab newspaper when you become more proficient.

Speak Arabic whenever you can:

One of the biggest obstacles to speaking Arabic is being shy about making mistakes in speech and so not speaking at all. You must overcome this shyness and use whatever you know whenever you can. This is how you will eventually improve insha Allah. Maybe you could meet some Arab brothers or sisters who only speak Arabic. This way you’ll be forced to speak what you know and they’ll be pleased that you’re making the effort.

Relate your knowledge back to the Qur’an and other worships:

Don’t forget that your aim is to understand what you recite of the Qur’an especially in your salaah and other adhkaar. Try to recognise Arabic words as you come across them in the Qur’an and apply your knowledge in understanding the Qur’an. Ponder over and pay attention to the words in your salaah.

May Allah help us all to master the language of the Qur’an and to aid its spread throughout the Ummah.

Some useful websites for learning Arabic:

Posted November 10, 2010 by thesunnahway in Acquire Knowledge

Be Careful Who You Take Your Deen From


The Messenger of Allah, sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, warned us against those who deviate from him in ahadith related by al-Bukhariyy and Muslim:

 “There are people whose skin is the same color as ours, who speak the same language as we speak,… they mix correct matters which you know with bad matters which you denounce [they mix the correct statements with the deviated ones]. They stand by the gates of Hellfire inviting others to enter. If one listens to them, they push him in.  It is of utmost importance for the Muslim to look thoroughly at the person from whom he acquires knowledge., As-Sahih Muslim

 The Messenger of Allah, sallallahu alayhi wa sallam also warned “This knowledge contains the rules of the Religion, so look thoroughly into the person from whom you acquire the knowledge of your Religion.”

Many “sheikhs” mix good and bad, and confuse those who can not differentiate between the two. For example there have recently been warnings that two well known and well used books contain statements of SHIRK. These are Aiyesha Bewley’s translation of Imam Bukhari’s Adab al Mufrad (this is the only free english version available in the internet right now). And Reliance of the Traveller by Nuh HA HIM Keller. And than you have other so-called sheikhs who invite people to extremeism under the pretence of “jihad”  And than you have those who claim we should only follow the Quran to the exculsion of the hadith. Subhanallah we are indeed in times of great fitnah, we must therefore be extremely careful as to where and who we take our knowledge from.

————————————————————————————————————————————-Shaykh Ahmad Ibn ‘Umar Bazmool

LISTEN TO THE LECTURE HERE: http://www.troid.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=739&Itemid=308

A lecture based upon the famous statement of Muhammad Ibn Sereen: “This knowledge is a matter of deen, so be careful who you take your deen from.”

 Due to the weakness in the Ummah and lack of comprehension of the pure Islamic methodology, it is common in our time that an ignorant person is taken as a person of knowledge, and that an ignorant person assumes the role and responsibility of a speaker and caller to Islaam. Despite the mountain of statements from the Salaf, the likes of al-Laalikaaee, al-Barabahaaree, Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Ibn Sireen and so on imploring the Muslims to stick to the Scholars, the people of sunnah (the jama’aah) and to stay away from doubtful matters.

 So before seeking to sit in a gathering, have you asked yourself:

Is this person known to the scholars or their students?-

Does he have tazkiyaat of any sort?-

Who are his companions (from whom does he sit with)?-

Does he frequent the gatherings of Ahlus-Sunnah, their masaajid, seminars, lectures etc.?-

What do the people of Sunnah and Salafiyyah in his area say about him?-

Does he cooperate with Ahlul-Bid’ah, their masaajid and programmes (is he here, there and everywhere)?

 Do you put up these roadblocks in your mind before setting out to seek knowledge with a man?  Seeing that it is from the most important affairs you could ever set out upon…your salvation, your ‘aqeedah, your path towards paradise insha’Allaah

Shaykh Ahmad Bazmool states:

 ’…This is how important this is, this knowledge is deen, something that he will be raised with on the day of judgment…the Muslim must look and take his deen from Ahlus-Sunnah, as-Salafiyyoon, known for knowledge, being upright and having taqwaa’

 ’Imaam Maalik said it is not enough for someone to be a worshipper, and to be known for Zuhd, outward expression of worship, that you take from them…but they did not take from them because that was not their affair (knowledge), they were worshippers that’s all. In this time we see someone who has a lihyah (beard), his thobe above his ankles and he is then the muftee of his area, this is a mistake!’

 ’It is forbidden for the one who is asked and doesn’t know, to answer. Likewise it is haraam for the one to ask one who doesn’t know…he has to ask the scholar…if you had a medical situation, would we go to a mechanic? And if we had a problem with our car, would we go to a farmer…no we would go to each individual who is a specialist in their field…so when it comes to the issue of deen, we must go to the scholars, it is not right to ask (just) anybody or do what everyone else is doing.’

”Abu Dardaa’ went to the masjid one day (in the time of the tabi’een) and he observed the people praying differently than according to the Sunnah, so he came home angry and his wife (Ummudh-Dardaa’) asked him what has made you angry? He said, ‘By Allaah I don’t see anything from the time of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) except praying together (meaning that they had abandoned much of the Sunnah). This is his statement whilst he was close to the time of the Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). So what about know? 1400 years after that, are general masses upon Sunnah? Are the general masses upon knowledge? No! Rather we should follow the scholars!’

 From the other points discussed:

  • An Important point is made about leaving off taking knowledge even from the one who speaks with the ‘Aqeedah of Ahlus-Sunnah yet he has hizbiyyah with him or Surooriyyah with him (i.e. someone simply speaking with the haqq doesn’t make him a person of knowledge or a person to sit with)
  • The corrupt principle of ‘taking the good/leaving the bad’, making oneself a private investigator into the affairs of many people of many different beliefs and then appointing oneself as the criterion between what to take and what to leave (not realising that he, himself, is ignorant, he can’t protect himself from this fitnah and this isn’t from the manhaj of Ahlus-Sunnah to sit with Ahlul-Bid’ah in this regard)

 The Ruling on Listening to Unknown Speakers

Question

What is the Ruling on Listing to Unknown Speakers and Taking Knowledge from them?

ما حكم سماع أشرطة المجاهيل وأخذ العلم عنهم؟

Answer:

Bismillah al-hamdulillaah wa salaatu wa salaam ‘alaa rasoolillaah wa ‘alaa aalihi wa sahbihi wa man tabi’a hudaahu wa bad. The trials of today are very many. Innovations and mixing up innovators with the people of the sunnah, for this reason one should be cautious.

‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Abbaas used to say, if a man said ‘I heard the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) or the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, we (used to) rush to him and went out to seek him, listening to him, but when the fitnah occurred they began asking about the men (who were narrating the knowledge) like how Ibn Seereen mentioned ‘we said: name to us your men’ meaning they were know by whom they narrated from. So from there they would know if they would listen and accept or refuse and not listen.

 If that was the case in that time, then our time has more priority.

It is a must that one determines and limits those whom he listens to,

and from whom he reads from,

and who he takes from,

and (the works he) issues,

and also who he sits with,

this is very important.

As for being a haatib layl (one who gathers wood at nigh i.e. blindly, heedlessly), listing to everyone and those who are unknown.

 No, it is feared that a trail will befall this one. Surely from the signs of success from Allaah and wanting good for his slave, it is uprightness and guidance that he helps him to sit, mix with and take from the people of the Sunnah. It is obligatory to have seriousness and diligence towards seeking out that which brings about success and guidance from Allaah, and Allaah is the one who grants success.

Qaade Abu Ya’laa said: “There is consenus (ijma) among the shaaba and the Taabieen as regards dissociating and cutting off from the innovators. Hajar ul-Mubtadi (p.32)

 Imaam Al-Baqhawee said: And the shaaba, the tabieen, their successors and the scholars of the sunnah passed away while they were upon this united and unamiously agreed upon having enmity towards the Ahulul-bidah (the people of innovation and fleeing from them. Sharah us-sunnah 1/227

Posted November 7, 2010 by thesunnahway in Acquire Knowledge

Acquire knowledge   Leave a comment


 Acquire Knowledge is what Allah has said, what the Messenger has said صلى الله عليه وسلم،, and it is not based on the opinions, imaginations, and thoughts of men, rather it is derived only from the book of Allah and the Sunnah of his messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم،, by way of the prophetic ahaadeeth, transmitted from the companions and the scholars of hadeeth.Abdul Azziz Ibn Baz Rahmahullah
 
Yusuf ibn Husayn said: “With manners you will understand Knowledge. With Knowledge, you will correct your actions. With actions, you will attain wisdom. With wisdom you will comprehend Zuhd (renouncing the worldly life) and be granted it. With abandonment of the worldly life, you will long for the hereafter. And with l…onging for the hereafter, you will achieve Allaah’s contentment.”dge because doing so is good. Seeking it is worship. Reviewing it is glorifying Allah. Researching it is jihad. Teaching it to the ignorant is charity. Serving the scholars is a way of drawing near to Allah because knowledge is the path of ascension to the stations of Paradise. It is a companion in isolation and a comrade in distant lands. It speaks to you in solitude. It is a guide to prosperity and a shield against adversity. It beautifies one among friends and is a weapon against enemies. With it Allah elevates people and makes them guides and bellwethers of good. The scholars are people whose words are sought and whose actions are imitated. The angels long for the scholar’s company and comfort them with their wings. Everything, the fish of the sea, the beasts of the earth, the predators of the land and sea, and the cattle pray that blessings come upon him

This is because knowledge enlivens the heart against ignorance, illuminates the eyes against darkness, and strengthens the body. It transports the servants to the mansions of the select and the righteous and to the highest ranks in the world and in the Hereafter. Contemplating it is equivalent to fasting, and reviewing it is equivalent to the Night Prayer vigil. With it, kinship is united and the lawful is distinguished from the unlawful. Knowledge is an imam which leads to righteous actions. It is craved by the people destined for Paradise and shunned by people destined for Hell.

Warathatu’l-Anbiya’; Imam Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali

Posted November 5, 2010 by thesunnahway in Acquire Knowledge